How to Send Money Overseas? in 2021

How to Send Money Overseas? in 2021


Like many Digital Nomads, you’ll need to send money to yourself from your home account. Or if you are a traveler and found yourself short of cash in a guest country.

There are many ways to send money overseas. Some of them are easiest, some of them are quick while others are cheap.

How should you decide using which option to send money?

  • How fast is money needed to be sent?
  • What are the fees (transfer fees, service charge, currency conversion, etc.)?
  • What are the maximum and minimum transfer limits?
  • How is the exchange rate decided?
  • Do both parties have a bank account?
  • When is the money needed?

Options for sending money overseas

There two types of services that allow you to send money overseas:** Cash Wire and Money Transfer**. Cash wires are quick, simple, reliable and allow anybody to receive cash in hand from the agent location. Most popular companies are the Western Union and MoneyGram.

Money Transfer method requires both sender and receiver to have a bank account. Typically, this takes a few days for the receiver to receive money from the sender. This is a simple process; you just need to transfer money through your bank portal. The currency will be converted into national currencies with service charges applied, and balance amount will be deposited in bank account.

Comparison Table of Methods

 Type Fee Per Transfer Min. Transfer Exchange Rate Cost
Transfer Time
Good For: Bad For: Transfer Type Notes Link
Bank Wire Transfer $25 - $50 $1 1% - 6.5% 5 - 7 Days Security Small Amounts Money Transfer Receiving bank may charge a fee to recipient
PayPal .3% - 3.9% $1 1.5% - 4.5% 3 - 4 Days $300 or less Exchange Rate Money Transfer Transfers using a credit card also include a fixed fee
Western Union $5 - $10 $1 1% - 6% Minutes Cash pick-up Expensive fees Cash Wire Max. transfer of $2,999
MoneyGram $11.50 $250 0.5% - 7% Minutes Cash pick-up Expensive fees Cash Wire 2% fee for amounts over $900
Transferwise 0.7% - 1.5% $1 0.00% 1 Day No hidden fees Limited currencies Money Transfer Real mid-market exchange rates are used
World First $0 - $10 0.75% - 1.5% 2 Days Large Amounts High min. transfer Money Transfer Not available in all U.S. states
1st Contact Max. of $5 $1 0.75% - 1.5% 1 - 3 Days Small Amounts UK Only Money Transfer Every 5th transfer free
OFX $5 $250 0.75% - 1.5% 1 Day Customer Service Convenience Money Transfer Strict verification makes this slower to set-up
Bitcoin $0.3245 - 0.00031Ƀ $0.00001031 0.00% 10 Minutes The Future Exchanging with Fiat Peer to Peer Magic internet money available globally with no permission
Credit Card Cash Advance at ATM
0 - 2.5%; Min $2 - $10 $0 0 - 2.5% Minutes
Pre-pay the balance on your card before you do the cash advance to avoid the interest fee; Some cards have 0% exchange rate cost, some have 0% cash advance fee.


What is the fastest way to send money overseas?

Cash Wire services are faster than Money Transfer services. So using the Western Union, you’ll be able to transfer money within minutes rather than days as with money transfer services. If you need to send money urgently use cash wire method.

What is the cheapest way to send money overseas?

Money Transfer method is cheaper than Cash Wire method. So, using your bank account to transfer money is cheaper because it’s mostly done online. You’ll get the market rate on currency conversion, but this method takes days.

What is the safest way to send money overseas?

Money Transfer method is more reliable that Cash Wire mode. This is because banks may verify the accounts before the creation. Banks invest in their security system to reverse any fraudulent transaction. This is much better than online methods like Paypal or Bitcoin in which you’ll lose money if you lose your account.

What details do I need to send money overseas?

If you are using the money transfer method, then you’ll be needing bank account details for the receiver.

For Cash Wire services like Western Union, the sender needs to provide his/her name and address, the recipient’s name and a selected payment location. Then the sender will be provided with a unique code, which needs to be given to the receiver. The receiver can the go the agent office, present his identification and the unique code to get paid.

When is the best time to send money overseas?

Any time that is convenient for you. Whatever option you choose, make sure to factor in holidays or working hours in both the countries.

How to send money overseas online?

If you need to send money online, then services like Paypal, Payoneer or similar companies are good options for you. They are a bit more expensive, but they are quick.

You can also look into bitcoins or crypto-currencies if you need to send it privately. Bitcoin is a good choice if you don’t want any restriction, middle-men, no minimum or maximum transaction limit. You get the confirmation within 10 minutes or so, and services are provided worldwide.

The downsides of Bitcoin are the volatility and cost of getting into and out of Bitcoin.

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